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Magosi bid to stop Popa tonight

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The BTC Premiership is back to life after an impromptu FIFA international break, and the league resumes under floodlights tonight with Township Rollers and Mochudi Centre Chiefs locking horns at the National Stadium. Both sides look set to revive the rivalry that has characterised them for many years. While Magosi have been blowing hot and cold over the past football weeks, Popa are in a form of their lives having set the country alight with their recent mind-blowing performances at continental stage. The game kicks off at 19:30hrs.

Going into the match tonight, Magosi harbour hopes of beating Rollers and derailing them from their BTC Premiership crown ambitions while also keeping hopes of a Top 8 spot alive. However, Popa will be kicking and punching every obstacle that tries to block their pathway to a third successive BTC Premiership title. Popa have been going back and forth with tactics and line ups since the suspension of two of their strikers Mothokozisi Msomi and Joel Mogorosi. With the two players missing, Edwin Moalosi will once again be at his talismanic role against Magosi. Having Moalosi upfront is what Mapalastiana Coach Nikola Kavazovic will relish most tonight with the pint-sized attacker’s nimble movement on and off the ball set to spur the blues on to another scintillating performance. He is expected to lead the attack with his ability to find pockets of spaces in defense.

Kavazovic’s tactical awareness and ability to read the game has seen Popa win big games, his ever fresh mind and wide open eyes will be resourceful tonight. Popa are currently on top form and if there is a team that can spoil things for them, it is the black and white outfit they face tonight. Magosi’s strike force of players like Khumoitsile Kufigwa and Tendai Nyamadzawo may have been firing blanks lately, but a game against your fiercest rivals always has a way of giving extra motivation that could see them surprise the favourites in this match. Besides, their strongest point has always been in the midfield from where they could orchestrate moves to frustrate Popa. With Rollers still expected to come down on Magosi like a tonne of bricks, the Magosi coach Innocent Morapedi will need to have all his arrows in his quiver, his defensive mind should be at work, and it is tonight that his tactical instincts should be alive and kicking.As usual the pace of Thatayaone Ramatlapeng and Botshelo Lerato will be key on the wings, targeting to run behind Popa full backs, who enjoy overlapping trips. A loss for Magosi will put their Top 8 ambitions at risk while a stumble by Popa could see them face a sterner challenge from the likes of Jwaneng Galaxy going forward.

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Makwengwe promises fire and fury

Isaac Pheko

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ON A MISSION: Makwengwe

Gaborone United (GU)headcoach Philimon Makwengwe has sent a chilling message to his future opponents following a 0-1 loss to reigning BTC Premiership champions Township Rollers this past weekend.

A buoyant Makwengwe who is searching for at least two hungry strikers at GU declared that there will be nothing but misery in store for his future opponents. Following the closely contested Gaborone derby Makwengwe said:

“I have to improve in attack, I am not scoring goals, and I need to change my position on the log. I know the buzz was around the Gaborone Derby but that was never my concern. My team is currently in the red and I needed the points. I have to get out of the red and attacking my opponents is necessary”.

The unrelenting coach made it clear that Moyagoleele should not perform below their showing against Rollers last weekend. Makwengwe said the Money Machine will need to be “attack minded” in their next fixtures.

“What people should know is that Township Rollers have beaten me three times. They beat me twice back in 2012 during the Mascom Top 8. That was not the last time as they defeated me again at Prisons Airwick means this is now the fourth time.

The local tactician said losses to the Mma-Masire outfit should be a wake-up call for him. Nevertheless, Makwengwe said Rollers are the champions and one of the best teams not only in the country but the rest of the region.

“This is a team that gives a good brand of Botswana football. I am a champion myself, I am not a loser but I cannot beat Rollers alone.” Regarding the rest of the first round, Makwengwe said they will hit the ground running, I have no time to lament on negatives, I will not bemoan so many things.

My next opponents should stand in line and prepare to become victims.” The experienced coach said GU are a big brand and they should move away from where they are in the log standings. Losing 0-1 to a team like Rollers shows that we have to work on consistency.

The coach conceded the fact that he needs to make changes in his squad. I need about eight players including a fast winger on the left, I need a striker or two and these should be real strikers not people who play upfront.

Makwengwe said the current strikers at the team include a local who is a work in progress and a foreigner who is not giving enough to the team.“People want me to hide and I cannot, when you come into this country and you brush aside a local and even the labour law says you have to be better than them(locals), I bet in any profession.

If you want to play a striker for me, work harder.” The coach said he does not have an outright striker, which leaves a gap in the team. “A striker is somebody who pushes and is busy. If he doesn’t score himself, he has to use other players. It doesn’t matter if he is alone against four.”

Makwengwe said he needs two strikers to avoid changing the team too much. “In January, I am going into the market and I am going to buy. My next game is against Miscelleneous and they are coming down. I will have no mercy. Whoever comes I will have no mercy.”

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Old rivals faceoff

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BITTER RIVALS: Notwane Head coach Pio Paul

Notwane Football Club (Sechaba) and Mochudi Centre Chiefs (Magosi), are to battle it out in a potentially massive encounter as both clubs are coming from draws in their previous matches against Prisons IX and Black Forest respectively.

The clash is scheduled to take place at 4pm this Saturday at Molepolole Sports Complex.Sechaba, as Notwane is affectionately known were relegated back in 2015 while Magosi has been going through a financial crisis that hit the club recently.

Having played 9 games a piece, Notwane FC, currently on the 9th position in the BTC Premiership league log standings have won two, drew four and lost three games whereas Centre Chiefs who are occupying the 12th spot have won one, drew five and lost three games.

In a brief interview with Sun Sport this week, Notwane FC Public Relations Officer (PRO) Mogomotsi ‘Ace’ Orapeleng said, “We are going all out to win this fixture, taking nothing away from Centre Chiefs, we are not going to read much into what they have been going through lately hence our approach to the match will be of ‘great’ respect.

This past weekend we dropped a massive two points which could have made a difference against Prisons IX thus making us more desperate to collect three (3) points in this coming clash with Centre Chiefs,” he said.

Questioned about the anxiety brought by this particular contest he said: “Notwane FC and Mochudi Centre Chiefs are big brands of Botswana football, we are aware of the fact that the personnel have changed; new players, management and even sponsors but the ultimate truth is that these two have great following and most people are anxious to see how the events will turn out on the weekend,” said Orapeleng.

For his part, Mochudi Centre Chiefs Vice-Chairman, Clifford Mogomotsi confirmed their aim is to try and improve their position in the league log standings, “In every match we play, our approach is to always expand our position on the log, regardless of which team we play against. Notwane FC is a fantastic team but we are going to fight until the end to win the match,” said Mogomotsi.

Mogomotsi further pointed out that playing against Notwane FC has always been exulting, “Notwane FC has always given us entertaining football as we almost play a similar style of play,” said the Vice-Chairman.

On the possibility of losing points through the impending verdict after failure to honour their game against Miscellaneous a fortnight ago: “Our date with Botswana Premier League (BPL) Disciplinary Committee (DC) has been set, and we are awaiting that,” he explained.

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